Change occurs constantly and your business must learn to adapt. From the telegraph to the cell phone, the personal computer to the Internet, companies have access to newer and better tools to do business in the 21st century. However, many organizations find success, even moderate success, yet remain stuck in the old ways of doing things.
One of those significant changes took place at the turn of the century. Are you transcribing the way you do business from the past century and applying it to today or are you translating it so it works in a new era of communication, a new workplace environment and a new global marketplace?
If you are transcribing the past and applying it today, at best you are treading water. Only by translating the past and adapting it to 21st century business demands will you enjoy sustainable success. A more technical definition of each:
Transcribe – To make a full (often written) copy of something.
Translate – To put into simpler terms; explain or interpret.
Translate to get perspective: In reality, transcribing the past simply means doing the same thing over again in a new set of surroundings, circumstances and reality while expecting the same results as in the past. When you translate the past into simpler terms, you get perspective and can interpret, adapt and utilize what is relevant. Only then can you focus on how to apply the past to the rapidly changing, diverse conditions of today.
Some things are just more important contextually from the past than others. When translating, those are the things you carry forward. For example, just because it was a great durable, state of the art car, you would not use a 1931 Model A Ford on the Autobahn today. Neither would you use only written communications and ignore the instantaneous transmission of information through virtual, electronic and social media.
Commit to Creating a Better Future: You are either the controller or give control to others. When you take control you open yourself up to the idea that greater success is available – then you can move forward to achieving that ideal. Change your thought process so you can take more control of your future.
Commit to intelligent planning: Intelligent planning contains many diverse ingredients but the one most overlooked is the use of history. Usually most businesses try to replicate the past not realizing that the future has changed everything. Use your rearview mirror only to glean what is relevant for today’s business climate and maintain a healthy perspective between what was, what is and what can be by adapting the good and discarding the irrelevant.
Commit to excellence: Excellence can be achieved in many ways and has many measuring sticks: personal, physical, financial, performance, productivity and spiritual. Excellence comes from a discerning eye that can recognize the things that are more important and relegating the unimportant to the trash bin, then taking appropriate action. It requires being in control, having access to the correct information and committing to excellence to use intelligent planning to create a better future no matter the category.
Commit to focusing on a better future: If you cannot see or envision a better future it is impossible to reach it. Walt Disney is a prime example of this. He may not have envisioned employing 60,000 plus people in Orlando at Walt Disney World, but he did foresee creating a unique entertainment destination where happiness, joy and magic abound. He and the team he surrounded himself with were uniquely focused on accomplishing that goal, and in addition, their intelligent planning and commitment to excellence gave them the freedom to create additional opportunities along the way.
The past, historical perspective is always noteworthy but not the roadmap on how to accomplish something in the new millennium. Discern what limited parts of the past you can use in your intelligent planning, commit to excellence and focus on creating the future you want.
Pat Heydlauff speaks from experience. She works with organizations that want to create an environment where employees are engaged, encouraged and involved, and with people who want to be in control, anxiety-free and confident. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Engage: How to Lead with Power, Productivity and Promise and Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It. She can be reached at 561-799-3443 or engagetolead.com.